Bryson le Fort is the last Duke of Marchfield and a pawn in his manipulative mother's scheme to keep the family's lands and title despite his brother's death.

Once a sharp-minded, handsome young man, Bryson fell ill at the age of 18, so ill that he was sent to an asylum in France to rot until his death. Now he has been brought home to marry and produce the heir his mother wants.

Lovely chemist's daughter Annalise has been chosen as Bryson's bride. This is her one chance to secure her future and Annalise agrees to the marriage believing Bryson lived in a monastery all these years.

Even when she realizes that she has been tricked into this farce of a marriage, Annalise realizes that her mute betrothed is not mad, dangerous or deaf. She sees the spark of intelligence behind his eyes and the passion and anger within his soul.

Though she tries to escape the travesty of a betrothal, in the end Annalise stays with Bryson and a powerful bond is formed between them; a bond that allows Bryson to heal in heart and mind, but a union threatened by an unknown killer out to assassinate Bryson.

In "Laura Kinsale style," Libby Sydes has penned a dark, intensely emotional and very powerful romance that grips the reader and holds you in her web until the very end. With graceful prose and skillful plotting Ms. Sydes weaves this tale and proves that her talents are blossoming with each new novel. SENSUAL (Feb., 375 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin